I remember the first time I promoted on a forum, it wasn't pretty. I had an affiliate link and I created a forum account, and I just posted my link on all the discussions on that message board.
I don't think I even reached the 20 posts until I noticed that my account got automatically logged off. When I tried to log back in, it says, "Account banned." That was my first experience with forum marketing. As you can tell, it wasn't a very productive one.
My second attempt wasn't any better. I used domains to redirect my affiliate link. I thought I was being clever because I was using many different domains. Well, that didn't really work because I wasn't really posting anything other than the redirect domain. Again, my accounts got banned.
How I Achieved Forum Marketing Success
I got so depressed with my results because after spending the better part of a day posting links, I had nothing to show for my efforts. That's when it dawned on me that I should take it easy. I should instead create a realistic account.
So I created a forum account that had a picture. I had some biographic information. I looked just like a normal, rank and file account on that forum.
Next, I actually participated in the discussions. I would answer people's questions, I would raise issues, I would provide research by posting links of credible and authoritative websites that truly answer the questions of people with concerns.
Soon enough people were giving my account a thumbs up. I was getting thanks for my contribution to the forum. It turned out that the more third party content I contribute, the more respect I got.
This third party content is not random content that I pulled off the internet. I actually looked for the very best content I can find. This is content that gets a lot of retweets from Twitter as well as likes from Facebook. There's a tremendous amount of social proof for these pieces of content.
The more of these I shared, the more respect I got. It dawned on me that I should only share tried and proven content because if they succeeded on Facebook, there's a high chance they would succeed on forums as well.
After I've gotten quite a bit of credibility on the forums that I was posting on, I would then start sharing original content that I've produced for my affiliate sites. When you read this content, they actually answer questions.
They actually deliver value to the lives of their readers. There are links to affiliate products, they have picture ads surrounding them, but the content itself delivers solid value.
I then post this contents' links from time to time. Most of the time, I would post quality third party links. After several months, I was generating quite a bit of cash from my forum posts.
The Best Part?
The best part to all of this is the fact that my forum posts involving my own content do not get taken down. Even to this very day, I still get traffic from that content.
I share this story with you because you may think that the fastest way to make money from forums is to simply dump lots of links and get the hell out of Dodge. Don't do that.
Drive-by spamming is a one way ticket to banning. It's not worth your time. Instead, become a credible and authoritative member of the community.
When you share real content, you can rest assured that your content will remain up and will continue to draw clicks long after you've posted them. They are definitely worth the ramp up time.